Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Summer Holidays

It is nearly time to pack our brand new brown bags, fill the car with kids, dogs, cats and go on holiday. Well that is what you do in the summer.

Today was a hot and sunny day. In my office you can't really tell what it is like in the outside world. This is due to the air con and the terrible view from my office window. I left the office at around 12.30pm and walked accross to Accounts and couldn't believe how warm it was. So at 1pm I went home and jumped in the MG and went for a quick drive around Hixon. This is probably only the second time in a year I have gone to work in the MG. Not sure why, as it's a lot nicer to drive than the SMax on a hot and sunny day.

I am really really looking forward to our week away in the sunny Isle of Man. I also really like holidaying in Britain. I think that there are so many great places and most people never get to appreciate them as they are too keen to catch that flight to Corfu or Magaluf.

After reading a blog written by SilverTiger I made a promise to eat toasty everyday of the holiday, although I'm not sure I'll stick to this promise.

There are plenty of good things to do on the Isle of Man. As the kids get older I am excited about them enjoying some of the things I enjoyed as I was growing up. They are still young enough not to find it too cheesy or boring, although I know this will come. Plus now that they have been abroad I think that they secretly like the weather being hot and sunny everyday so that they can play in the pool.

I know that now I'm in my 36th year I have turned into a boring old hippy. I remember when I was about ten years old I was playing in Poulsom Park in Castletown with a friend of mine. We were hanging around not doing anything exciting when we got talking to a couple of other kids. We didn't recognise the kids from school and so were quite interested in where they were from. When one of them explained they were on holiday from England, I remember thinking to myself that their parents must be weird to come to the Isle of Man when they could to loads of better places to go, like Blackpool.....and Alton Towers.

Who said 10 year olds dont know what they are talking about.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Manchester United 10 - Tottenham Hotspurs 2

Last night saw the final United/Spurs match for a long while. I was hoping that United's loss of Ronaldo and Tevez over the last couple of weeks would play in favour of the Super Spurs, but I couldn't of been more wrong. If anything it forged a much stronger team with Rooney playing out of his skin. 10-2 was the worst result of the two games, with 9-2 being the other. There was some concern that both managers had been drinking, with the Spurs manager quite unreasonably even drinking a glass of red during the game. I don't know how he will explain that to Ledley King.

Of course I'm not waffling on about a real game of football, it was last nights FIFA07 on the PS2 between two old friends. Over the years this has become a sort of ritual between us. Not sure how or when it started, but over the years the results have tended to be reasonably even. In general I would say that United have probably won more games, and the games that Spurs have won tended to be smaller goal victories. The games have been played on various versions of the FIFA game with last nights 2007 version being the worst version I have ever played! Of course I would say that bearing in mind the thrashing that occurred.

I'm not too sure exactly why the game turned into the crushing United victory. I have a belief that United had been secretly practicing for months just on the off chance of one final Spurs game. I also have a belief that lots of lager may have numbed the usually razor sharp senses of the Spurs team. Whatever the reason, it was probably a fair result and one that will haunt me forever. I have done some basic research and I don't think that United have ever beaten Spurs by such a large margin, but after this seasons 5-2 drubbing I assume that Spurs are getting used to the humiliation.

Aside from the football the rest of the evening was short, but good fun. I am glad that I had the opportunity to have one last beer in Hedge End.

There are too many stories I could write here about Richie and myself from the lest 15 years, but I won't do them justice so I'm not going to try. I'm also sure that there are too many stories I have forgotten, which would probably be the really interesting ones.

I wish Cathy and Rich (and the cats) all the best for the brave move to Canada. I will miss both of them and hope to see them again sooner rather than later. Be sure though I will be practicing on FIFA everyday from now till then!

Good riddance guys.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Fight Club

The first rule of blogging is never to write an entry whilst under the influence, tired, stressed and moody.

The second rule of blogging is never to write an entry whilst under the influence, tired, stressed and moody.

Below is an edited version of last nights ill fated 'Reflections' post. Apologies to anyone who read the meaningless bilge, including me this morning.......

"I think that there are a lot of things that I have enjoyed over the last few weeks in writing this blog. One thing that does seem a familiar theme is the routine that life sometimes falls into if you don't watch out. This at the moment consists of being woken up, working too many hours and then home late and before slumber calls us all to inevitable unconsciousness.

..................although we all communicate using the same language, we don't always seem to hear the same words. Our development allows us to learn to speak, but also to forget to listen? This really is mad. But unfortunately I am very good at talking and pretty poor at listening sometimes.

Now the 'work me' has been really really busy over the last few weeks. This week especially has been crazy, and yet again the week ends without the 'work me' achieving anywhere near half the things on my very long 'to do' list. I think i may be worry about the list a little too much, but hat's probably because I've also got another 'to do' list of things that probably will never get done.
I have been recently quite annoyed by the Jane Fonda advert on the TV. It tells me that Jane is an older lady (72 I think), but at the same time she remains youthful and sexy because she uses some revitalising face cream from L'Oreal.
Now there is no denying that the 72 year Jane Fonda does indeed look good for her age, but I can only assume that this is not all down to her choice of face cream. It may have something to do with the trappings of her millionaire lifestyle.
I will cut it short at this point as I can't do any more editing of the drivel produced last night.
Please, please, please remember the 1st rule of fight club.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Touch the Truck

Fame at last! Please make an orderly queue. I'm on my way up and no-one's going to stop me.

The widely known and highly read 'Diesel and Gas Turbine Magazine' has printed an article quoting me (on several occasions) as an expert in the industry of moving large diesel and gas turbines. Which of course I'm not. but anything for a bit of profile for my fledgling blog. Do you think they would sponsor this?

I haven't really listened to much music for a while. I seem to have become addicted to podcasts. Podcasts are great. They seem to have taken on an entertainment format all of their own. Some of my favourites are Collings&Herrin and radio 4's FridayNight Comedy , but mainly anything funny. I especially enjoy podcast when the work me is travelling and I'm being miserable not having to speak to anyone. I just sit there and laugh to myself, usually about juvenile bumming jokes on the Collings&Herrin podcast.

When driving today I put on a cd and listened to a couple of songs at full volume and was really surprised how much I enjoyed it. I think I've been depriving myself of music, and never mind vitamin D, give me some vitamin M. Ok that doesn't really work, but you know what I mean. Diving songs are best on a sunny day, with the windows open and the roof down if you are fortunate to have a car without a roof.

Favourite driving songs? I'll leave that for another day, but I think I'll give the podcasts a miss for a while and listen to a few of the 5000 songs on my ipod while I'm out with the dog. Girls Aloud........ok, as long as it's Biology.

5 against 3 doesn't make 6

I woke up around 19 hours ago and yet I can't seem to sleep tonight. This is quite unusual for me as I am normally a very shallow person and also a good sleeper (in the good old fashioned sense of the word).

Today or yesterday (depending on your pendanctics) was a really hard day. It started bright and early with Anya's 6th birthday. I was proud of her, but not really properly focused. It was the trees, not me being rubbish. We had breakfast and presents, and cakes with candles, all before 8.30am. Amazing.

She is the best 6 year old I know. Smart, caring, curious, challenging, fun, funny, demanding, gorgeous and totally wrapped up in being a 6 year old girl.

Unfortunately for me, I am the worse 35 year old I know . The list of issues is long, so I won't go into it, but I dissappointed myself today because I let the trees become more important than the birthday of my little 6 year old girl.

Birthdays are something that you are immensely proud of when you are young. I think of myself as still young, but the fact that every year I look forward less to my birthday is maybe a little telling about my age. When you are 10 you can't wait to be a year older, whether it is purely for the party I'm not too sure, but life is full of unpredicatable excitement behind (and around) every corner and we look forward to that with unbridled enthusiasm. We could all do with some of that now and again.

I sat with Anya on Sunday and we looked at all the famous people who shared her birthday on the 17th June. The list was pretty pathetic, although Venus Williams and Barry Manilow meant a lot to me, but she wasn't even impressed by Lee from Blue. Kids today!

After all my self depreciation of the last few lines, in our house we now have a rule of not having just a birthday. You have a 'birthday week'. I like this invention. Whilst I am sure that it was created to elongate the present giving and cake eating process, it has also allowed the importance of 1 single day to become less relevant. Within the 'birthday week' you should go to atleast a couple of pub lunches, have atleast 2 or 3 birthday cakes, open many many presents and hopefully see granny and grandad, plus all the aunties, uncles etc.

OK, so I may have missed most of today, but I think Anya's 'birthday week' will probably end on Sunday. There's still 4 more days to go. Plenty of time to enjoy ourselves.

On the matter of trees I can confirm we got a result. Although we had to sit through stories of airships, imaginary rivers and imported dutch lime trees. And I never got to meet the Lickorice.

Anyway, tomorrow's another day and it's still Anya's 'birthday week'

Monday, 15 June 2009

Trees Trees Trees and Michael Mcintyre

This week has all the markings of a week from hell. So far Monday has been OK, but I believe that this is just a curve ball to lead me (or lull me) into a false sense of security.

Waking up these days always falls into the same familiar pattern. You can usually set your clock to the time that Patrick (95% of the time before 6am) will magically appear in the room, standing next to the bed, telling the world 'he is not tired'. Then begins the daily ritual of persuading him that it is:
A - the middle of the night and he must go back to sleep
B - the crack of dawn and he must go back to bed
C - too early and he can play with his toys in his room

I'm not too sure whether Patrick actually likes the toys in his room, because he never wants to spend the early hours of the day in there. Maybe father Christmas could bring him some interesting toys. Come on Santa!!

At sometime between 6am and 7am, Euan will start his morning wake up call. It starts in a low mumble, occasionally gurgling, then some chattering, possibly a bit of singing, before the inevitable sobbing starts. Now we know that there is nothing wrong with him, just his way of telling the world it is time to get out of bed and be cute. If only he could speak.

Finally Anya. She is the most unpredictable riser in the house. There appears to be no routine to when she will arrive in the morning, but as always she is a little sleepy and you get the feeling she would rather have an extra 5 or 10 minutes. Although be aware, once she's awake then she is on the prowl for food. Like a modern day hunter gatherer looking for cereal.

Once everyone is up there is the usual mayhem in persuading people to get dressed, brush teeth, put socks on, stop fighting, turn the TV off, get downstairs for breakfast, etc. etc. etc. Most of the moaning comes from me, but I see that as my role in life a the great organiser.

Anyway, after the first hour of the day at home the rest of the day is usually quite uninteresting in comparison. Apart from the trees, oh the trees. They are starting to haunt me in my waking and sleeping hours. Let's hope that common sense and justice prevails. Watch this space........

At least it's better than watching Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Sleep Debt

I read on the internet recently that one can survive and function on as little as 5 hours sleep. I am not one of those people. I think I'm more along the lines of a 10 hours a night man, if you know what I mean. Although I love sleeping, the act of waking up is the most feared and hated, especially if I oversleep, then wake up and have to immediately get out of bed. Ahhh, curse you sleep, you are a cruel yet addictive and comforting mistress.

When I was a child, maybe 5 or 6, I remember going through quite a long spell of sleepwalking. Not that I went for long walks, more that it happened again and again over a number of months/years maybe. Now this was the 70's, kids could play football in the street, the sun always shone, there was no internet and life was pretty much comprised of old wive's tales and flares. I'm sure parents and families believed that most things that children did they would grow out of. Well I did with the sleep walking atleast, so no harm down there. But I wonder why it happens? And how can we function whilst asleep? There are unfortunately a few too many stories i could tell about sleepwalking out of hotel rooms in little or no clothes, but I'm not going to. I have read an article about a man from Philidelphia who was on trail for alledged lewd conduct. His defence was that he was sleep 'perving', sorry walking.

It is well known that some people with sleepwalking have very complex behaviors at night. And believe it or not, some have been found to be driving, eating, preparing meals. Most of us miss out on sleep, but only 1 percent to 2 percent of people suffer from "parasomnia," or actions while sleepwalking. This would maybe provide an insight into some poor driving on the M6.

Somniphobia is the fear of sleeping or going to bed. How frustrating must it be to have that as a phobia? I assume that as with all phobias the irrational fear of anything must be annoying, embarrassing and potentially debilitating. My phobia is probably one of the most common out there. Spiders. I've never liked them in anyway. The size, texture of their epidermis, number of legs, number of eyes, the way they scuttle, the fact you never see them eat or drink, and also the arrogant way that they never ask to move into you house or warn you that they intend to live in the bath, they just crack on, move in and wait for you to find out. There are plenty of other phobias out there in real life. Here are a list of some I quite like:

Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers.

Pediophobia- Fear of dolls

Rectophobia- Fear of rectum or rectal diseases

Russophobia- Fear of Russians

Sinophobia- Fear of Chinese, Chinese culture.

Zemmiphobia- Fear of the great mole rat.

Consecotaleophobia- Fear of chopsticks.

Dendrophobia- Fear of trees.

Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body.

Eleutherophobia- Fear of freedom.

Epistemophobia- Fear of knowledge

Ereuthrophobia- Fear of blushing.

Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news.

Eurotophobia- Fear of female genitalia

Genuphobia- Fear of knees

Geliophobia- Fear of laughter

Graphophobia- Fear of writing or handwriting

Geumophobia- Fear of taste

Helminthophobia- Fear of being infested with worms

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words.

Hobophobia- Fear of bums or beggars

Hylophobia- Fear of forests.

Ithyphallophobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis

Koinoniphobia- Fear of rooms

Leprophobia - Fear of leprosy

Leukophobia- Fear of the color white

Levophobia- Fear of things to the left side of the body

Linonophobia- Fear of string

Logophobia- Fear of words

Lutraphobia- Fear of otters

Melophobia- Fear of music

Nosocomephobia- Fear of hospitals

Oneirogmophobia- Fear of wet dreams

Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything

Papaphobia- Fear of the Pope

Although I'm not too sure the name of the phobia associated with having your bottom tickled by a great mole rate with chopsticks and an erect penis. I'll come back to you on that one.

It is a beautiful day, the sun is shining, so it's time to go and enjoy it instead of being stuck behind the laptop.

Post from a website on 1900 and 1980's TV programmes:
Horace 1982 - does anyone remember this series. it was about a simple child like man named Horace. i think it was set in the north of england. Does anyone remember the actor who played him?

Sounds a great programme, I'm sure they'll bring it back on ITV.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

During and after the rain................

Rain above in Shrewsbury

Rain below in Laos
It appears that this weekends constant raining has been payback for last weekend constant sunshine. And who said there is no such thing as karma/Yin&Yang/what goes around...........

The weekend; as always; has gone by quicker than any of us wanted. It's been another interesting one, but now Sunday evening brings with it the usual routine of preparation for Monday, but more importantly tonight the final of The Apprentice. Yes Sir Alan.

This series has been good, a lot better than last year for sure. I can hardly remember who won last year (Lee I believe? - he didn't make it and went on holiday after a few weeks and never returned. If only). Aside from Nick and Margaret becoming a little more animated in this series, I have also noticed some things which warrant review:
1 - Why does Frances (Sir Alan's Secretary, sorry PA) get up in the middle of the night, dress and have breakfast, then drive to the office, just to phone up the contestants at the crack of dawn to tell them to be at Battersey Dog's Home (or wherever) in 30 minutes? She must either, get paid a fortune or be incredibly driven. Also, once she's phoned up the contestants, hat does she do then? There can't be a lot of 'PA ing' that needs doing at 5.30am, although I suppose there's always emails to read and file. Damn that work me!

2 - Francis always instructs the contestants that the cars will arrive in 30 minutes. Then the contestant who has answered the phone then goes and wakes up the others. How do they manage to get themselves ready in 30 minutes? I struggle to get myself out of bed and ready for anything in 30 minutes and that's without having to iron clothes or share a bathroom.

3 - I notice that both Francis and Sir Alan have ditched their AMSTRAD phones with the big LCD display and texting/email capability, and these have been replaced with ultra slim desk phones.

I hope that in these credit crunch times that this doesn't mean the end for Sir Alan's multimillion fortune. I assume that Francis didn't like the look of the useless machine and recommenced to Sir Alan that he used an IPhone to email or text her whilst listening to music. I hope that as a result of this outspoken gesture from Francis, Sir Alan doesn't utter the immortal line 'Your Fired' and we lose her from the next series. She's my favourite. And remember all those early mornings Sir Alan.

Anyway, I don't really care who wins tonight but I suppose I should favour Kate as she is from the Midlands and has nice teeth.

I am quite surprised about the direction this blog entry has gone as I was going to keep it short and focus mainly on reading about the 'Nightingale and the Chamberlain' with my daughter. Maybe next time.

Looking forward to a dry and sunny week. I'm off to do some ironing before the Francis Show starts.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Blog #1

I have never made any attempts to keep a diary, except back in my teens when I was full of angst and hormones. That initial attempt at diary keeping lasted for a matter of days and quickly fell into a rhythm of who I fancied and how much my parents annoyed me.

Deep stuff indeed.

For this my new blog I am hoping to I take one incident, thought or encounter from a previous day, week or even year and then write about it. This I hope, will improve my writing and to force myself to think about how things have made me feel. So there will be mistakes and things that are frankly rubbish and embarrassing. But little more than most expect of me I am sure.
I also like the idea of trying to turn around the ravages of the last 35 years on my brain. By recording the day to day minutia that usually gets quickly forgotten, the odd characters, bizarre thoughts, quiet reflections, and of course the family growing up, I hope to produce something worth reading and turn the clock back on the old grey matter.
I will undoubtedly reveal stuff about my mental state which is OK. I think.

I am sure that it is quite hard to think of anything to write about and I am concerned that my motivation will quickly wain, as the 16 year old me reminds of my failed attempts at diary writing back in the early 1990's. Damn that 16 year old me!

Much of my life is spent at work. I do not plan to write about the ins an outs of my demanding work life as a high flyer. If I did, I am sure the work me would chastise me about the quality of the blog entries produced and get me to stay late at work to bring them up to scratch. Damn the work me!

This is not going to be a record of everything about my day, rather just a second of reflection or memory. As long as the work me gives me some time off.....